IPCC Report: A rapid shift to less-polluting energy is needed

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Since 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, has released a major assessment every six to seven years reporting the latest research on global climate change.

Written by 235 scientists from 57 countries, the report looks at a variety of ways to fight climate change and will serve as a road map for policymakers who plan to negotiate a new climate treaty next year in Paris.

"It's not necessarily a phaseout of fossil fuels," says co-author Leon Clarke, but rather "a phaseout" of power plants and other facilities that don't capture the carbon they emit. "If we do nothing, temperatures will continue to rise.”

Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil and gas company, said in a March report that new global climate policies are “highly unlikely” to stop it from producing and selling fossil fuels. Rather the company calls for energy efficiency and research funding for emission-cutting technologies.

Although the IPCC report calls for emissions to be cut, it also recognizes that this action may not be enough. Counties may have to enlist controversial technologies that remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Emissions, largely from burning oil, gas, and coal, will need to be slashed 40%-70% by 2050 and almost entirely by the end of the century, in order to keep global temperatures from spiraling out to control.

It also urgently suggests that measures, such as "bio-energy with carbon capture and storage" or BECCS, in which power plants capture and store CO2 emissions in which they produce underground, need to be highly considered.

Thomas Hsiao, Charlotte Mid-Atlantic Regional President of SuperGreen Solutions added, “Although climate change is difficult to see from day to day, the risks are very clear and immediate action is needed. We can all do our part in slowing down or possibly even reversing this epidemic by adopting energy conserving habits, such as using Electric cars, tankless water heaters, or LED lighting in our everyday lives.”

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